Chris, Mathius and Dave were getting feet on the dance floor again on Friday night when Misspent Yooth played Talkin’ to a Stranger. They entertained the radiant assemblage with a mix of bounce, rhythm and melody that had several people up dancing by the third tune. Once they had the e-violin turned up to the right volume the sounds coming out of the speakers were a wonderful mix of bouncy dance-y bass, tight jazzy rhythmic guitar, a colourful suite of violin melodies and topped with smooth vocals. The result was a clean, colourful and tight sound that had the NGO crowd on the dance floor as soon as the first end-of-week wine started kicking in.
At the other end of town was a much rawer, dirtier sound coming from the vicinity of Sharky's in the shape of Lost Highway. Despite being down by 2 members, they did a great job in a performance of several Americana signature tunes. During the week they lost their bass player due to a broken arm as a result of a moto accident and their new rhythm guitar from Italy who had to bail due to sicknesses in the family. Undeterred the band did a great job to entertain the assembled beer-drinkers and the fairer, younger sex.
The long guitar leads from Kenny were a treat for us Phnom Penh-ers who rarely get a chance to enjoy the dying art of the blues/electric/rock guitar performances. Kenny’s vocal style also blends in so well to the songs that it doesn’t strike you at first but the way he flips the timing between the guitar and vocals adds a unique and robust flavour to many of the tunes. Tommy on drums also sang many of the tunes with a country flavoursome reminiscent of the long, hot dusty highways from his homeland – it was really well put together. Tommy rarely and surprisingly lets his technique dominate the tunes but his ability to get the sticks flying should not be underestimated. Oscar on blues harp was superb – adding raw, growly notes and rhythmical overtones to the mix and a blues-rock or country feel as the song needed. I didn’t get to see them on the Saturday night but I sure they would have enjoyed a larger crowd as most of the boys in the audience skipped off to the joker draw not long before start time.